Avengers NOW: Black Captain America, Woman Thor, and Marvel Comics' Diversity

     I wanted to chime in on Marvel Comics' recent marketing- unsurprisingly they are shaking up their entire Universe with Thor's powers being usurped by a woman, Captain America becoming black, and Iron Man going Superior.

     These aren't really issues- aside from the Dazzler one, and I'll get to that later- really, we could use some changes in the comics industry.  What I am unhappy about is how they're marketing it.  Any long time comics reader should know by now Marvel has a real problem with finding something that sells and flooding the market with it.  Spider-Man is selling well?  Looks like we need a Clone Saga.  The Hulk is popular?  Better make him come in multiple colors and in more people.  Thor gained popularity and then Fear Itself came along and added like 8 new hammers.  Deadpool is hot, let's make a team of them!  Wolverine is slated to die this fall, and guess what, there's 10 other characters that are nearly the same.
     Marvel takes something and does it so much it dilutes the characters.  This issue is compounded by the way they take books change them and then shift them right back to how they originally were.  Or just let them disappear- where'd our female Ghost Rider go?

     Black Captain America
     This has happened before.  Honestly, and it was an awesome story and I wish they could've kept that going.  Isaiah Bradley in the Truth: Red, White, and Black series was a great character and had a descendant, Elijah Bradley (Patriot from the Young Avengers) and he could carry on the legacy.  I was actually hoping that might've been who J. August Richards was playing on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Any way, my problem is they are marketing it as the first black Cap, and that isn't true.
     Well, even though Steve Rogers is now forced to give up the suit, Sam "The Falcon" Wilson is a perfect choice to take up the mantle.  As Cap's long-time friend and ally it makes sense.  I just wish they could've worked in one of the Bradleys for the role.
     Does anyone else remember the black Hulk from the Ultimate Avengers?

     If (S)he be Worthy
     Of course, Thor has become unworthy of lifting the mighty Mjolnir and it falls on another to heft the hammer.  The role is now filled by a woman which, just like a black Captain America, has been done before.  Many times in fact, even by DC Comics' Wonder Woman.  The hammer has been wielded by many females, and Thor has even been a woman before.  As in Thor was changed into a woman- not that a worthy woman gained the powers through the hammer- during the very awesome Earth X series.  Thor was even a frog for a time.
     This is another case where it is perfectly fine that this is happening, and I am truly looking forward to a new Thor, a "strong woman" is a good thing.  It's just that this is also another case where I think Marvel is just doing things for marketing purposes.  Marketing a well-known male character being replaced by a strong female on The View is a brilliant strategy, but also caused a heck of an uproar.
     I think the problem stems from the perceived emasculation of Thor (which isn't how it works- whoever lifts the hammer gets the powers, simple as that.) with the implication that the new woman is "taking" his identity.  Of course, this may have been planned to create a huge wave of controversy to drive interest, but really- if this woman can lift Mjolnir, then SHE IS WORTHY and gets the powers of Thor, not becomes him- that's why she remains a female.  She might use the name Thor, but she is her own person, as there are pics of Thor with an axe in promo materials, so he is still around in his unworthy state.

     Diversity in the Marvel U:  Avengers NOW
     Soon Iron Man will be Superior Iron Man, what that implies is beyond me.  But as the 3rd person in the Avengers' main trifecta lead role to be altered I wonder what is in store for Marvel's chief heroes.  Heck, hopefully they won't even be human- that might be a nice twist.  (Maybe it's a version of Vision, which would tie in to my thoughts that Jarvis (film version) will become Vision (film) and bridge the universes)  This is probably a nice way of generating hype not only for comics, but for their films as well- Avengers: Age of Ultron and The Guardians of the Galaxy, which releases in 2 weeks.

     Overall I think the changes Marvel is initiating are good.  I just think they are marketing them in a way that is only meant to lure in new paying customers at the expense of irritating the long-term fan base.  It seems like they are picking a bunch of current issues like gender and race and using those as springboards into a cash pool- like a flow of publicity stunts with a diversity checklist.    At the least they are making an impact and getting new readers to come on board.
     The comics industry has been in dire need of large scale diversification for years and at least this is a start.  I remember when there was a large amount of homosexual stuff as the hot topic on TV and shortly afterwards there came a slew of characters "coming out."  Now it's just accepted and the norm in the comic book world.  Really, it just seems like there could be a better way to handle these things.  Perhaps they could put in the time and effort to create new and diverse characters instead of plugging them into established roles.  Stop pandering and make some new and diverse characters in a variety of races.  I want to see more characters like Sooraya "Dust" Qadir from X-men.  Or one of my personal favorite characters Maya "Echo" Lopez from Daredevil and more recently the New Avengers.

     Well, I suppose Marvel is at least trying to be inclusive and are developing things in a manner that reflects that even if it feels a bit like a sales gimmick.  The Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-Man is great, the new Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes) is decent, and hopefully these new ones will last.  If they want diversity, then make these characters stick- for the long term.  If it's too temporary the importance might be lost.
     I'll definitely continue to be buying Thor and will start buying Captain America when this series begins, I can only hope that they'll be as good as the hype.  I just want to believe that this is more than trendy headline-grabbing and it will contain something more permanent, like high quality writing and lasting effects.

     PS:  When will we get a Doop animated film?  Doop is a damn green turd-creature, if that isn't diversity nothing is.  Or the Dan Slott She-Hulk show I want?!?  That would be something that would absolutely kill in the ratings department.

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